Two-thousand-fifteen is the centennial year marking the publication of the curious (though largely forgotten) volume of poems titled Spoon River Anthology.
Written by poet Edgar Lee Masters, the book is a collection of short poems (epitaphs) relating the lives of fictional small town characters (mingled with poems by several true-life figures) who share the same location … they’re buried in the Spoon River cemetery.
Except for the introductory poem, each poem/epitaph is written in the first person, each departed individual telling his or her story from the grave. The poems were initially a series of compositions published in a literary journal.
These compositions eventually became the anthology. Masters published numerous other works including biographies of Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain and others. However, the Spoon River Anthology appears to have been his most notable and enduring work. Continue Reading →